March 23, 2015
Today I made my way over to my seminary alma mater, San Francisco Theological Seminary. I was asked to speak with a group of student about the ever-illusive topic of “church in the 21st century” which was really more about what it means to be a pastor today.
As always, I was was struck by both the depth of calling and questions that people bring to their preparation of pastoral leadership. Not all will go into transitional parish ministry, but all were asking good questions and maintained a good perspective about the future.
As we tackled the questions of what was NOT being taught in seminary, I was reminded of the unique nature of seminary educations today. Yes, practical tools are certainly important aspects of the experience, but I think the most important thing that seminary can to is to create a safe space where people can be stretched theologically.
There is plenty of time to learn the technical aspects of ministry, but the unique nature of seminary provides a once-in-a-lifetime context for deconstructing, reconstructing, and learning how to articulate ones theology.